The Adamant, a 600 sqm floating building, is moored on the right bank of the Seine River at Port de La Rapée. It was inaugurated in July 2010. The building was specifically created as a Day Centre and is part of the Saint-Maurice Hospital Group (Val-de-Marne). The Adamant is an excellent illustration of a successful working relationship between the construction sector and healthcare professionals. This very unusual barge is dedicated to mental health and greatly differs from traditional hospital architecture. The Adamant is an example of a successful project which helps to reduce the stigma of psychiatry.

Original architecture for a bold project

Given that there were no buildings available in the centre of Paris, two doctors who live on barges themselves came up with the idea. The plans were developed over the course of several years by a specialised architecture firm in close collaboration with healthcare teams and patients.

The building, which adheres to High Quality Environmental (HQE) standards, looks like a large floating house which is gently rocked by the Seine River. It is made mostly of wood and glass. The abundance of wood gives the hospital a cosy feel and the two rotundas at each end make it seem protective. A gangway links the quay directly to the reception area and bar. On board, the open plan layout is spacious and allows free movement.

A privileged healthcare facility

Because psychiatric care is sectorised in France, the Adamant Day Centre is part of the Paris Centre Hub and welcomes adult patients who live in the first four districts of Paris. Patients are referred by private doctors or by other health care facilities and partners in the area.

The Day Centre’s multidisciplinary team offers very diverse psychological care such as consultations and mediatised therapeutic workshops focused on oral, physical, artistic and cultural expression. The interior spaces look more like artists’ workshops than a psychiatric day hospital and that’s probably why the project is such a success.

For more information:

Article updated on 12/08/22